Brazil football boss sues US magnate John Textor
November 11, 2023 12:23 PM
Brazil's top football official is suing US business magnate and football investor John Textor for slander for attacking him in a post-match interview and saying "corruption" caused his club to lose, a source said Friday.
The row with Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues erupted after Textor's Brazilian club, Botafogo, suffered a bitter 4-3 defeat at home to rivals Palmeiras on November 1.
In an obscenity-laced TV interview, Textor -- who also has a large stake in English club Crystal Palace, among others -- blamed the loss on a red card issued to Botafogo defender Adryelson in the 76th minute.
Trailing the league leaders 3-1 at the time, second-place Palmeiras capitalized on the dismissal to score three late goals and win.
"The whole world saw it, that is not a red card," Textor fumed, saying the call "changed the game."
"This is corruption, this is a theft. Please, fine me, Ednaldo, but you need to resign tomorrow morning. That's what needs to happen. This championship has become a joke... You can red-card me. It's my stadium. I'll still be here."
Rodrigues filed a lawsuit in a Rio de Janeiro court accusing Textor of slander over the comments, with the CBF as co-plaintiff, a Confederation source told AFP.
Long-suffering Botafogo have a shot at their first league title since 1995 after being bought last year by Textor, who acquired a 90-percent stake in the club, pledging to invest $77 million in improving the team.
But after enjoying a runaway lead for most of the season, the Rio club have suffered four straight losses.
That has allowed Sao Paulo-based Palmeiras and Porto Alegre side Gremio to pull even with them on 59 points, with just over three weeks left in the season -- though Botafogo have a match in hand.
Textor, 58, who made his fortune in the entertainment, media and technology industries, is majority owner and chairman of Eagle Football Holdings, which also has large stakes in France's Olympique Lyonnais and Belgium's Molenbeek.